contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

2443 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA, 94115

(310) 463-0650

Designs by Alina:  Handcrafted jewelry fabricated with gold, pave diamonds, and choice pearls for the sophisticated modern-classic woman. Beauty and inspiration forever entwined. Lifestyle blog on design, travel, fashion, family.



Designs by Alina Lifestyle Magazine

Blog, Travel, family, interior design, jewelry design and fashion.



Filtering by Category: Travel

Street Style in Milano Part One

Alina de Albergaria

Fashion blogger

Having lived in five countries and three continents between us, my husband and I are happy to call Santa Barbara home. The ease of life, weather and relaxed sophistication of the American Riviera is unparalleled, and so long as I allow myself a city fix every now and then to further fuel my soul and creativity, there is nowhere else in the world I would dream of calling home.

I feel fortunate to have experienced Tokyo, London, New York, Buenos Aires, Montreal, Paris, Marrakech, Istanbul, and Vienna among other cities. This month, our annual honeymoon revival took us to Lake Como, by way of Milan, Zürich and Barcelona.

Those of you who follow this blog know that I am obsessed with travel and canonizing beauty via Instagram. But our return to Milan called for something more audacious, something that took me back to my television days, this time, however, I would be confined to only one side of the lens. And so it was that my stealthy camera visually eavesdropped its way around the Quadrilatero d'Oro immortalizing the city’s fashion pulse.

Milano’s sartorial world is now far more relaxed than I remember, evidence perhaps, that globalization has not left it unscathed. Notwithstanding, the style is vibrant and deliberate, still celebrating color with seemingly more zeal than its American counterparts. Much like in New York and other fashion meccas, athletic shoes rule, and whether a woman favors classic, casual, or the avant garde, ever present is the conscious manner in which she combines them with her wardrobe, hinting at the world behind the threads.

The bold style approach wielded by Milanese women encouraged me to be equally camera-bold, and knowing my subjects would be uncovered in the best of light, made my job that much easier.

In the evening we met up with our friend Deborah, a style icon in her own right, and her partner, Christian. Following a midnight tour of the city, we dined at Bistro da Giacomo to our heart’s content while learning more than we could possibly retain about pepper varieties and the Scoville Pepper Heat Scale from our enthusiastic waiter.

The next day we bid addio to Italy’s vestiary capital with many a moment etched in my heart. My city fix was further enhanced the following weekend by a Hollywood getaway, giving my soul plenty of fuel to last throughout the holidays. Or not.

Thanks to my groom for being my mostly-willing partner in crime, and for resisting the temptation to toss my furtive camera into the lake.

Six things I discovered about Australia (and a few I already knew)

Bernardo de Albergaria

Beautiful Victorian with filligree balcony in Melbourne

Beautiful Victorian with filligree balcony in Melbourne

No koala sitings. No kangaroo trekking. No snorkeling or endless reading on sandy beaches, nope! Following months on end of jam-packed schedules (work and children) my better half and I were in neither an overly active nor overly restful state of mind. Unable to completely pull away from our creative endeavors, we found ourselves in a "loungey-city" mood for lack of a better word, and indulged it by weaving our way through Sydney and Melbourne along whichever street happened to strike our fancy, some hidden, some not. And it was just puuurrrrrfect.

Australia is the sixth continent I am fortunate enough to have visited and it is easy to fall in love. I knew that the Opera House was beautiful, that the feel, much like Southern Calfornia, would be relaxed, that the weather was temperate, that they drove on the left, and that kangaroos were largely considered pests. Ah, but there is so much more to the land down under.

1. The Aussies know how to make a good cup of coffee.

“Two what?” I ask puzzled on the heels of Bernordo’s “two flat whites please.” He correctly states that I will love what he just ordered: a perfect cross between a cappuccino and a latte. Served up with a smile, the flat white never disappoints. Not with the taste. Not with the presentation. And there are popups everywhere.

2. The Sydney Opera House is not just beautiful, it is exquisite.

Sure, we have all seen photos of the giant building reminiscent of white sails, but believe me when I say they are, well, just photos. The magnificence of the structure is impossible to portray for three reasons:

  • Every view is a surprise in a Forest Gump box of chocolates sort of way. One minute you are touching a sun scorched curved surface, and the next you are on the floor trying to capture the perfect shot. After you've clicked a hundred times you take it all in again with selfish eyes that share the glory with none other than your own swooning heart. 
  • The beauty is in equal parts structure and setting. With the imposing Harbour Bridge in view, the Opera House stands in all its glory and is arguably as stunning when viewed from the water, where an intimate outdoor concert venue and amusement park remind us that there is no backdrop quite as enchanting as the sea. 
  • It’s Day and Night. Literally. You will become so entranced by the natural and man-made beauty on your first stroll, you’ll want to return at night. We choose to enjoy the "set changes" offered by the vanishing sunlight as night fell. The entire scene, beautifully enhanced by lights on the glistening surface and above, deemed us grateful for having been able to witness such veritable beauty.

And that was just the beginning. The highlight of our trip was enjoying Madama Butterfly in its penultimate night with Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura whose powerfully emotional portrayal of Cio Cio San brought me to tears. Our preordered interval drinks were served up with breathtaking views of the Harbour. We exited the theatre to a grand finale of fireworks making our romantic evening rival any other on Earth.